09:33AM, Friday 02 February 2018
Allow me to proffer a few reasons why you should go and see this film.
Firstly the players: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are the leads and they are both superb — actors at the top of their game who they seem to relish the opportunity.
The director is Steven Spielburg: a master storyteller and much in the film (but not all, obviously) is based on truth. He takes us on a journey into the mounting crisis. Events coincide in ways that raise the stakes exponentially.
The film is set in 1971 and is beautifully detailed. I know not how they managed to show the type of newspaper printing press where blocks of individual letters are carefully secured into frames — it looked like they had used the original.
The wardrobe is faithful. Expect lots of brown ties.
The United States at the time had a president who was, by many accounts, a piece of work — someone who was vindictive and who would threaten the press at the drop of a hat.
The film speaks to gender equality. Meryl Streep plays Katharine Graham, a woman who has grown up deferring to men. As the owner of the newspaper, she sits in a boardroom surrounded by men. She has to face the challenges of deciding whether or not to publish government secrets that reveal that the public have been manipulated and misled over three decades. There is one scene that stood out for me: she leaves the Supreme Court and heads down the steps through a throng of women; they look at her with pure admiration and respect but do not say anything.
History, even recent history, has that important quality: it instructs.
I give it a 9 out of 10.
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